Plans for a community center and a proposed mental health facility filled conversation during the Fairfield Hills Authority’s meeting on Monday, November 24. The facility, to be located at Fairfield Hills next to NYA Sports & Fitness Center, would also serve the senior community. The center and the “broad spectrum of needs” it meets for the town would be constructed in phases, for which funding requests are also in the town’s Capital Improvement Plan, First Selectman Pat Llodra told authority members. Members on Monday also returned to the discussion of a proposed 100-bed behavioral healthcare facility by US HealthVest.
What can the town do to generate activity for demolition at Fairfield Hills? First Selectman Pat Llodra told the Fairfield Hills Authority members Monday, November 24, that town officials recently have had “quite a bit of discussion” about the question. She soon handed members a draft of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) recommendations that include three $3.5 million requests over consecutive years between 2015 and 2018 for demolition.
A nonprofit group is resuming its fundraising drive to collect money that would be used to build a new police station for the 45-member town police department. Town police have long sought new quarters to replace their existing facilities at 3 Main Street in the building known as Town Hall South. Resident Scott Cicciari, a member of the Municipal Building Strategic Plan Committee, is spearheading the police station fund drive, which is mailing out a fundraising letter this week to about 11,200 local postal addresses, including residents and businesses. Although no location for a new police station has been designated, the group's fundraising target is $18 million.
The possibility of incorporating a residential element into Fairfield Hills redevelopment has again entered conversations, which will be opened to the public in December. First Selectman Pat Llodra on Monday, November 24, told the Fairfield Hills Authority members of two upcoming forums on December 6 and 11 “to address housing.” The two moderated sessions will be sponsored by three town agencies: the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Fairfield Hills Authority, and the Economic Development Commission. A residential component to Fairfield Hills development has long been a source of controversy, earning mixed public and official opinion. Past projects that included apartments or housing associated with a small school, for example, never took shape.
The Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled to conduct a public hearing on a proposed overlay zone intended for high-density, multifamily housing, which would include an “affordable housing” component. The proposed zone is known as the Mixed-Use Mixed-Income-10 (MUMI-10) zone, reflecting its provision for mixed land uses, mixed income levels of its residents, and a 10-acre minimum site size.The irregularly-shaped parcel in question lies generally north of Church Hill Road, west of Walnut Tree Hill Road, south of Evergreen Road, and east of I-84.
Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members are reviewing a range of concerns from residents who attended a November 20 public hearing on The Preserve at Newtown, a 23-lot residential subdivision proposed for Dodgingtown. Those concerns include the potential for damage to existing domestic well-water supplies, increased traffic flow, and high construction densities. The developers propose two clusters of single-family houses on the 167-acre site, where about half of the acreage would be designated as “open space” for passive forms of recreation under the provisions of the town’s “open space conservation subdivision” (OSCS) regulations. Such development also is known as “cluster housing.”
During a sobriety checkpoint held last weekend at Fairfield Hills, police stopped a vehicle to check on whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and then found approximately five pounds of marijuana in the vehicle’s trunk, resulting in the arrest resulting in the arrest of the vehicle’s five occupants on several drug charges.
The balancing act of providing field space for youth and adult athletics and accommodating a combination of the most competitive of those children (and their parents), as well as out-of-town players on travel and premier squads, has been a tricky one for Newtown Parks & Recreation officials. Newtown Recreation officials now hope some changes to the field use procedures will make Newtown residents happy while not shutting out nonresidents altogether. They also hope to maximize use of the town’s field space in the process. Beginning in the spring of 2015, field use will be regulated differently than it has for the past ten-plus years, with stricter rules for out-of-town residents. The Parks & Recreation Commission at its October meeting approved a change in the rules that now requires every team within an organization to meet an 80 percent residency requirement. Additionally, other policy changes are being considered to help ensure there is an equal opportunity for Newtown athletes to have field use.
Following discussion at a November 20 Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) session, P&Z members unanimously endorsed Newtown Hook & Ladder, Company, No. 1’s proposal to build a firehouse on Church Hill Road to replace the town-owned firehouse at 45 Main Street which the fire company now uses. The fire company is seeking a special permit from the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) to build a firehouse at a 3.16-acre site, which would have the street address of 12 Church Hill Road. Trinity Episcopal Church of 36 Main Street now owns that land which it would sell to the fire company for $500,000, if the company receives all required regulatory approvals for the construction project. Rob Manna, representing Hook & Ladder, told P&Z members that the firehouse which the fire company now uses is in “deplorable condition.” The structure was declared structurally unsound many years ago. Steel beams are being used to shore up its main-level floor. Also, bracing has been placed on its western exterior masonry wall to counteract wall cracking. The building, which has been in service for about 80 years, was not designed to house modern fire trucks, which are much heavier than those of the past.
In response to the snowstorm that has reached the area, businesses and organizations have begun announcing program cancellations and/or early closing plans. Readers who would like to have their closings or cancellations announced are invited to call 203-426-3141 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.